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1/23/24 - Recent Increase of Wire Theft in Lane County

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office has received increased reports of wire theft from utility companies in the area, as well as thefts of tools and equipment.  As you can imagine, this hampers their efforts to restore our power and communication services throughout the county.  It also raises the costs of these repairs, as they are forced to replace stolen materials and tools.

Please be vigilant for suspicious activity around repair sites.  Legitimate workers will be wearing appropriate safety equipment, flagging if they are impeding the roadway, and driving vehicles marked with their contractor or power company numbers or logos.  If you see suspicious activity, please immediately report to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150, option 1.  

According to Oregon Revised Statute 164.055, any level of theft “committed during a…catastrophe or other emergency in an area affected by the…catastrophe or other emergency” becomes Theft in the First Degree, a Class C Felony.  Due to high metal prices, wire theft can easily become Aggravated Theft in the First Degree, a Class B Felony.  Additionally, anyone who accepts material “having good reason to know” that it was stolen, commits Theft by Receiving.  This includes scrap metal businesses if they are out of compliance with ORS 165.118.